WHAT SITUATIONS WORK FOR SILICONE?
Silicone is a much more versatile product than most people realize. It can be applied to a number of different roofing substrates, in a number of different weather conditions, on various degrees of slope, and through different application methods. Silicone is a hassle-free product that can go down in almost any scenario you throw at it. Let’s look at just how versatile it is.
Which Surfaces Can Silicone Be Applied to?
There are basically three categories of substrate candidates when it comes to silicone: those it can stick to, those it can stick to with a primer, and those it can’t stick to. This is obviously an oversimplification, but it will do the job to give you a general idea of silicone’s versatility. First, surfaces it can stick to:
No primer required:
Silicone Coated Roof
Granulated Cap Sheet
Smooth Built-Up Roof
Gravel Built-Up Roof
Primer may be required:
The following four substrates don’t require primers if they are over 5 years old. After 5 years, the oily film present on single-ply roofs has worn off, and then silicone can adhere without a primer.
Next, let’s look at surfaces for which a primer is required for adhesion:
EPDM – These roofs have a black film on them from the roof substrate breaking down over time. This film must be removed using a primer and a powerwasher to provide a surface free of debris, and then silicone can adhere.
Surfaces silicone can’t adhere to:
HDPE – You may notice that this is not a roofing material. This is High Density PolyEthelyne. This is the only surface we’ve found that silicone absolutely can’t adhere to, and that’s a good thing because this is the material our 5 gallon buckets are made out of. We also use this material to make membrane samples. As far as roofing surfaces go, we haven’t found one yet that silicone can’t stick to.
In What Weather Can You Use Silicone?
We often get asked what the weather conditions have to be for silicone to be installed. Well, they can be just about anything above freezing. As long as you can keep the material and hoses warm enough, you can pump the silicone to the roof and it can adhere. We typically recommend 40 degrees and above just to be safe. As far as heat goes, if it’s not so hot that you are unwilling to get on the roof, then you can probably install silicone on that day. Heat isn’t a problem.
Regarding the weather, impending rain is no issue. You don’t want to install silicone while it’s raining, but 30 minutes or so after putting silicone on the roof, and you no longer have to worry about the rain causing any issues. Even if it rains before that, silicone won’t wash off, it will just cure faster. It may have small dimples, but the rain won’t damage the performance of the roof.
How Steep Can the Roof Be?
Our silicone roof coatings are designed for flat or low-sloped roofs. But that doesn’t mean they are only effective on those surfaces. Silicone coatings can be applied to roofs with low-slope, steep-slope, and even walls. The steeper the wall, there will be some changes to the installation methods used, but our coating can go on almost any surface.
Silicone Installation Equipment Types
Some people shy away from silicone roof coatings thinking the installation equipment is too expensive. However, you can install coatings with something as simple as a bucket and paint roller. You can install silicone with brushes. Our flashing grade produce is a little bit thicker, and it can be applied with a putty knife. Sure, spray equipment is an option, and if you buy the fanciest equipment it will get expensive, but there are plenty of affordable options as well.
Silicone Delivery Methods
Silicone roof coatings don’t have to just be delivered in one format, like say a TPO roof always comes in rolls. They can be purchased in pails of any size, 1, 2, 5 gallons. They can be purchased in drums for spray application, 55 gallons. Or, they can be purchased in totes for larger quantities, up to 275 gallons. Silicone is also available in quart sizes for samples.
Silicone roof coatings are significantly more versatile than most people give them credit for. We’ve highlighted the versatility here, but there are many more aspects of silicone that make it an easy product to work with. Give us a call today if you’d like to learn more about how you can work with silicone.